The juncture of painting and fabric…
Curatorial Statement by Herb Rieth
The southeast has long been associated with folkways and crafts. Perhaps it is the association with recalcitrant tradition and the preservation of the “old ways” that lends itself to this view or a hoakum perpetrated in the name of identity, but the myth remains. The reuse of old fabric and the embellishment of the old to make new are large within the craft traditions of the south. It seems fitting that these methods would be a jumping off place for exploring or challenging established notions of artifact.
The members of this exhibition all nod in some way to the tactility of fabric, the laborious act of sewing or crocheting, the sculptural manipulation of material to achieve a surficial end. Instead of blindly perpetrating some of the clichés in these forms however, the artists chosen use the monolith of tradition as place for jumping into the unknown. The work crosses boundaries from Carri Jobe’s painterly moves to Nick DeFord’s exquisitely crafted barbs. It imbues tension into the materials from Jim Arendt’s and Briena Harmening’s laborious recreation of instantaneous moments to Charlotte Wegryznowski’s lovingly paginated cenotaph’s for ideas and gardens of the past. Jessie Van der Laan uses fabric to bottle the smoke of notions that float like ghosts above the fray of Herb Rieth’s work, a chopped and channeled costume ball for the X generation.
The works speak to tradition in reverently rebellious tones and visit with each other, all adding their voices to the embodiment of E(labor)ated Surfaces.